Trouble in Remainia
Paul Mason

A key part of the structure and process of such a realignment will be what is presented here as “A” progressive alliance. At least two key features need to be openly discussed and thrashed out.

The first is cultural. Probably because of the way in which representative democracy is carried out, one the problems which the Labour Party shares with the various vanguard movements it collectively despises is that most, if not all, of its members and activists sees itself as “The” means to realise progressive outcomes rather than “A” means or vehicle towards such ends. This has resulted in an exclusivity approach to politics which is in essence little different from the doctrine of a religious faith such as, say, Christianity. You can only get to the promised land through us. In short the Labour Party has become the gatekeeper through which all progressive politics must go through. This has made progressive politics easy meat for capture by vested interests opposed to democracy and democratic social outcomes because you only need to capture the structure and processes of one organisation.

This cultural attitude of tribalism and exclusivity has prevented political progress because it does not seem to have understood that diversity also operates and exists in the political sphere. Opportunities to work with others to keep out the so called enemy, the Tory Party, have been lost in the past because it suits (captured) vested collective and individual interests to do so.

Consequently, any process towards forming a progressive alliance of forces with the diversity which now exists within the political sphere needs to start with that conversation — to recognise that the Labour Party, as with the Greens, the SNP, or whoever is “A” vehicle rather than “The” vehicle. Members and activist need to make that cultural and intellectual shift just to get to first base.

Secondly, as well as thrashing out and recognising what any progressive alliance is for, there is also a need to be explicit about what it is against. In political terms this would seem to be either C/conservatism or neo-conservatism; in economic terms neo-liberalism; and in social terms neo-feudalism. It would seem reasonable to make explicit therefore that in order to realise progressive values and policy outcomes keeping the Conservative Party from exercising power represents only a part of what is required because the Conservative Party are not the only neo liberal political party. Any split of the Labour Party would leave one section also representative of the neo liberal strand, even if it is only neo liberal light.

In fact as things currently stand such a progressive alliance would be facing what are in essence at least four major neo liberal parties in the Conservatives, whatever the post Blair cult wing of the current Labour Party decide to call themselves, the Orange Book dominated Lib Dems and UKIP.

As an aside the mention of Bob Kerslake is worrying. Those who were at the receiving end of the undermining and brutal destruction of community efforts to access EU funding for genuine bottom up projects in the late 90’s/ early 2000’s so that his political masters could divert that money to groups they and he set up and controlled which were stuffed with local political activists of all main parties would view his involvement with suspicion and deep antipathy.

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